By Thomas A. Gregor
A stimulating and cutting edge attention of the idea that, motives, and perform of peace in societies either old and smooth, human and primate.
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Extra resources for A Natural History of Peace
Along the way, in this provocative and wide-rangingintroduction to the nature of peace, we examine peace and war in both tribal and Western societies. A HISTORIAN of China, Jonathan D. '" To imagine the ideograph divided in this fashion is to follow "a tradition among Chinese scholars reaching back almost two millennia, a tradition that allowed one to see, buried inside the word for war, the possibilities, however frail, of peace" (p. 24). This image of peace as something "buried inside" of war captures very well the particular ontology of "peace" that is my main subject matter.
10 The mistake made by phrasing the issue in these terms is to assume that peace and war, health and disease, refer to contrarieties occurring within the same order of things. Instead, what I have been arguing is that peace and health exist not as objective states but as ideals contemplated from the point of view of their opposites. 11 We achieve these ideals (or, more likely, experience the illusion of doing so) in the exhilaration, relief, and sense of contentment that comes from discovering that the war or the illness is over, the hardships and misery are behind Page 9 us.
Perhaps the most fundamental example is legitimacy, the perception that power within a society is exercised appropriately and morally. Kenneth Boulding (1989 and chapter 11 of this volume) cogently argues that this form of power may peacefully order a society by generating bonds of loyalty and a sense of community. In chapter 4, Leslie Sponsel examines evidence for sociative peace in the earliest records of archaeology and human evolution. Using a more psychological perspective, Ervin Staub, in chapter 5, demonstrates that the institutions of sociative peace require that the self be constructed in ways that are different from aggressive communities.
A Natural History of Peace by Thomas A. Gregor
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